With most players either being ambipedal or preferring their right foot, left-footed footballers are a bit of a rarity in football. Having a left-footed winger adds a new dimension to a team’s attack, making it more unpredictable.
Left-footed wingers usually stick to the right flank, but the best in the business can make an equally telling impact down the opposite flank. From cutting in and scoring to providing inch-perfect crosses into the area, possibilities are endless with a left-footed winger running the show up top.
Today, we will take a quick look at five left-footed wingers who have been making headlines with their stellar performances. Here are the five best left-footed wingers in world football right now:
#5 Leroy Sane — Bayern Munich
German champions Bayern Munich have a knack for recruiting some of the most sought-after players in the world. Living up to their reputation, they signed Leroy Sane from Manchester City for a €49 million fee in July 2020.
Sane, who is primarily a left-winger, is capable of playing centrally as well as down the left flank. He is an excellent crosser, has plenty of pace to burn, and can pop up with important goals from time to time. This season, Sane has featured in 16 games for the Bavarians across competitions, recording 10 goals and five assists.
The former Schalke man has been in blistering form in the Champions League, scoring four times and claiming two assists in four appearances.
#4 Bukayo Saka — Arsenal
Arsenal have been in breathtaking form in the English Premier League this season. Exceeding expectations, they have picked up 28 points from 11 games, emerging as the league leaders. Every single Arsenal player has played their part this season, but Bukayo Saka’s performances deserve a special mention.
The left-footed youngster has dazzled fans with his pace, creativity, and ability to score goals, pitching in with four goals and four assists in 11 Premier League appearances this season. The Englishman, who has regularly led by example when odds have mounted against his team, has also scored once in four Europa League appearances.
#3 Ousmane Dembele — Barcelona
In January, Ousmane Dembele was at odds with Barcelona, with the Blaugrana urging him to extend his contract and the Frenchman opting against it. At one point, he was jeered by the fans at Camp Nou for not complying with the club’s wishes. Over the last 10 months, he has turned his fortunes around for good, becoming an integral member of the team.
Considering Dembele can shoot and cross with either foot, he can be called an ambipedal player. However, by his own confusing admission, he is a left-footed footballer (via Sportbible).
Xavi has used him on either wing this season, but he seems at his best on the right wing. He regularly cuts in from wide and his creativity has also been on a different level on the right. In his previous outing, Dembele scored a goal and recorded a hat-trick of assists, helping Barcelona to a 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao (October 23).
Overall, Dembele has featured in 15 games for Barca this season, registering four goals and seven assists across competitions.
#2 Mohamed Salah — Liverpool
Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah ended the 2021-22 Premier League campaign with two prestigious individual awards, claiming the Golden Boot (23 goals) and the Playmaker Award (13 assists).
The left-footed winger, who primarily operates on the right flank, has impressive pace, knows how to find pockets of space, and loves to shoot from all angles. He is also a treat to watch in tight spaces, making it rather difficult for opposing defenders to keep him under wraps.
Salah endured a rather slow start to the campaign in the 2022-23 season but has now started picking up pace. The Egypt international has scored nine goals and claimed four assists in 16 games for Liverpool this season. He has emerged as the joint-leading scorer in the Champions League, scoring five times in only four matches.
#1 Lionel Messi — Paris Saint-Germain
One of the greatest in the history of the sport, Lionel Messi is a proud left-footed footballer. The Paris Saint-Germain superstar cannot exactly be dubbed an out-and-out right winger, but he most certainly drifts more to the right than he does to the left. From a wide position, he loves to cut in, dribble, take players on, and go for goal with inch-perfect curlers.
Messi has started playing in a deeper position from last season, which allows him to put his game-reading ability and passing range to good use. As a result, he has provided more assists than he has scored goals at PSG, with him bagging 20 goals and claiming 25 assists in 49 appearances across competitions.
This season alone, Messi has scored nine goals and provided 10 assists in only 15 games across competitions.
Edited by Sushan Chakraborty